2022 AWARD WINNERS
Clinical Nurse III
Neurology/Oncology Unit 5-3
Duke Regional Hospital
DNP, NP-C, AACC, FAANP
Kristin graduated from Watts School of Nursing in 2013 and has worked on Unit 5-3 at Duke Regional Hospital her entire career. An example of how she leads with compassion. The unit provides end-of-life care, and patients with a goal of comfort care are transferred there. On a day when she was Charge Nurse, she realized it would be at least an hour until a comfort care patient could be moved, so she went to the patient’s room to discern immediate needs. The patient was very uncomfortable, and the family was upset. She went to work right away to arrange appropriate care and stayed at the bedside, soothing the patient and reassuring the family until the transfer, giving them more quality time together.
This nurse began her career eight years ago as a brand-new nurse. She has always exemplified integrity from the moment she began. Not only is she regularly recognized on our surveys, she is often recognized by staff. She knows everyone in the ancillary departments by their first names, and always greets them; she has a gift for making them feel like they are the most important person in that moment. This nurse has precepted many new graduate nurses for our unit, as well as mentored students. This nurse is always the first to begin new practices we initiate on our unit. She always completes her required training on time, and never requires reminding. This nurse strives to be the best she can be in her role as a nurse and nurse leader on our unit.
During her eight-year career here, she has not stopped growing. She quickly began mentoring and precepting new graduate nurses to our unit. Last year. she earned her professional certification and promotion to Clinical Nurse III. This nurse is also one of our primary Charge Nurses and keeps this unit running like a machine – all while managing significant stressors outside of work.
She has been the unit’s Infection Prevention Action Team (IPAT) representative for several years and regularly provides updates and education to our staff. She transformed the team huddle into Infection Prevention central, championing the best practices to decrease the risk of infection. When this nurse is in charge, “potty rounds” happen. No urinary catheter, central line, or other lines and drains are left untouched through review and determination of necessity. Through her undying diligence around poop, pee and bacterial bugs, her team has the knowledge and awareness to be infection prevention advocates for their patients.
Little did this nurse’s team know how transformative their new Infection Prevention Action Team representative would be.
She helped establish the practice on our unit for Foley catheter insertion: two RNs partner to ensure proper sterile technique is maintained, and to assist with correct skills, if needed. Since beginning that practice, we have not had any CAUTIs!
She understands the amount of collaboration that goes into the population of patients we care for. She always knows every person from therapies to transport, dietary, lab, Environmental Services (EVS). She calls everyone by their name and genuinely enjoys working with everyone. Because of her relationships with ancillary staff, she provides seamless care to her patients by coordinating their procedures/tests/consults. As a result, the patients feel they are important and in the best hands.
Palliative care has become an integral part of COVID care, and it’s all about symptom management. This nurse has floated to the COVID unit to assist patients who require symptom management due to respiratory distress. Medication requirements in these situations can be unfamiliar for nurses who are not as experienced. This nurse assisted with at-the-elbow education so that the patients received medications to help alleviate symptoms of respiratory distress.
When this nurse was presented with the thought of providing inpatient hospice care to COVID patients, she embraced it as an opportunity to continue to deliver excellence to our patients and their loved ones. This nurse is very empathetic to the plight of visitation limitations and the time to become the surrogate for the patient’s loved ones during the end of life. So instead of limiting her time in rooms, she spent more time filling that gap by “being with” and “doing for,” while continuing to inform the patient’s loved ones through virtual visits via an iPad. Recently, one patient didn’t have any visitors. This nurse sensed that end of life was near. So, she reported on her other patients to her colleagues and went into the patient’s room to be that presence. She was holding their hand until they passed because she didn’t want them to die alone.
This nurse exudes compassion and caring, and makes every person she interacts with feel they are the only priority at that time, and all the while provides the most excellent nursing care.